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5 from 1 vote

Panforte with Ginger, Apricots and Macadamia Nuts

This panforte makes a wonderful Christmas cake to serve or to give as holiday gifts!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Christmas cake, panforte
Servings: 16
Calories: 296kcal



  • Preheat oven to 150°C/300°F, fan forced (convection) setting. Grease a 22cm/9 inch round cake pan and line the base with baking paper.
  • Put the chocolate and honey in a pan over very low heat, stirring often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture smooth. If your stove doesn’t go down to a very gentle low heat I’d recommend doing this step using a double boiler so you don’t burn the chocolate.
  • Combine the flour and spices in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the fruits and nuts and give everything a stir to coat them in the flour.
  • Add the chocolate/honey mixture to the bowl and stir well. I find clean hands easiest for this as the mixture is very stiff. Make sure everything is evenly mixed and there are no lumps of flour remaining.
  • Scrape the mixture into the prepared cake pan and press out gently with your hands or the back of a spoon until it’s even. Bake until golden but soft, about 45 minutes. Let it cool slightly, then run a thin knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the sides.
  • Cool the panforte completely in the pan, then turn it out and wrap well in aluminium foil for storage. Keep in a cool dark place and when you’re ready to serve, dust it with powdered sugar and cut into thin wedges.


  1. Makes 1 x 22cm/9 inch round or 1 x 20cm/8 inch square cake.
  2. For the white chocolate: don’t use really cheap baking chocolate here, though you don’t have to go to the upper extreme and use super expensive stuff either.
  3. I’ve made this recipe in many different quantities and pan sizes, from the single large cake version listed below right up to batches of ten times that, baked into dozens of small cakes. Though you’ll need good arm muscles to mix larger batches, it’s a recipe that scales well.
  4. The flavour improves after baking and though you can eat your panforte immediately, I think the best time to eat this is 2-3 weeks after it’s baked, when the spices and fruits have had a chance to settle and blend with one another. The cake will keep, well-wrapped in a cool dark place, for up to a few months.
  5. Take care not to overcook your panforte. The cake should be lightly golden all over but still quite soft to touch when it comes out of the oven. It will firm up as it cools, and even if you’ve been a bit cautious and under-baked it, it’ll just be a little more fudgy than normal. I promise no one will notice.
  6. You’ll see I’ve simply noted ‘chopped’ for the glace fruits, without giving a guide to what sized pieces to aim for. It’s up to you – finely chopped fruit will give a finer texture, roughly chopped makes for a chunkier panforte. I like to chop the ginger and orange into roughly 6mm/¼ inch pieces so they distribute evenly through the batter, but I make the apricots/peaches about twice that size for a bit of textural interest. See the prep photos for an idea of what I mean.


Calories: 296kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 23mg | Potassium: 177mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 133IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 1mg